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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.

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California 4, U.s. 4, Sarah Palin 3, Obama 3, Fox News 3, William La Jeunesse 2, Wyden 2, Amy Kellogg 2, Aviva 2, Ron Wyden 2, Aquino 2, Palin 2, James Rosen 2, Rahm Emanuel 2, Los Angeles 2, Alzheimer 's 2, Washington 2, Iran 2, Alaska 2, Lubna 1,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway. New.  

    August 3, 2009
    6:16 - 7:00pm EDT  

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bone and skull fragments were shot down of after u.s. officias received new information from an iraqi citizen. military doctors are also running d.n.a. tests on those remains. one healthcare reform proposal would cost the government virtually nothing and already has bipartisan support. why haven't you heard about it? and a kiss is just a kiss between iran's president and its supreme leader. he ran off with his secretary! she's 23 years old!
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bep in news around the world, starting in the philippines, tens of thousands converged on streets an overpasses to view the funeral tore tej of corzine aquino as it took a five-hour journey through
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manila and brought the traffic to a standstill. aquino died friday of colon cancer. she was 76. aquino came to power after the ouster of ferdinand marcos in 1986. in khartoum, a sudanese female journalist says she is willing to face as many as 40,000 lash es in order to challenge that country's laws against women wearing trousers in public. the french press agency says lubna hussein has waved diplomatic immunity as a united nations employee in order to take indecency charges against her to trial. if she loses, she could get 40 lashes. in iran, the prosecution continues of protestors arrested during post election demonstrations and the man who the government says won that election was given the official seal of approval from the country's real leader. correspondent amy kellogg has the story. >> an awkward embrace, but straightforward message from
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iran's supreme leader, ayatollah khomeini, and a swipe at those who have protested the results of the june election. >> the islamic ruling system is alive. they must not imagine a true or false machination of the elections, and with the caricature of the 1979 revolution, they can harm the greatness of the revolution. >> >> ahmadinejad was absent, but the head of the council was there who chooses an monitors iran's supreme leader. >> this shows there is a major rift that is being papered over and these cracks will come into play in one form or another as ahmadinejad's administration continues. >> this, amidst a mass trial of 100 political prisoners, reformists arrested after the election with what many say are forced confessions played out on t.v. and people like mohammed al abti, reformer
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cleric, former vice president and well-known blogger. he appeared thinner, without his clerical garb and in a prison with the others, and a close ally and former newspaper publisher, mohammed al fahr, whom fox news interviewed several times recently in iran. >> these are the very children of the revolution. these are people who have served in senior positions, and the board of citizenry says if these people can have this kind of behavior against their own friends an their own kind, what would they do towards others? >> ahmadinejad's inauguration is set to take place wednesday and he will have two weeks to form a government. given the recent turmoil within the regime, speculating is rife that that will be quite a process. in london, amy kellogg, fox news. bret: secretary of state hillary clinton is appealing to iran for more information about -- or any information about three missing americans believed to be arrested are there last week. the three apparently got lost
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while hiking in the mountains along the iraqi and iranian border. since the u.s. has no formal diplomatic relations with iran, it goes through the swiss in such cases. sarah palin is no longer in charge of alaska, but she is still in the sights of her critics, and how the white house chief of staff put the squeeze on t.v. executives to put the president in primetime. taking its rightful place
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in a long line of amazing performance machines. this is the new e-coupe. this is mercedes-benz.
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>> and now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. another case of what appears to be sarah palin derangement syndrome has reared its head. juan cole at the liberal salon.com website has compared the former alaska governor to ahmadinejad. cole writes "it is remarkable how similar they are r-678 both are known for saying things that produce a classic scooby doo double take in their audiences. ewe cole says they represent the unscrupulous elites and against pampered upper middle class yuppies pretending to be the voice of democracy." saturday, an alaskan blog claimed that palin was getting a divorce and moving to montana. pa palin employee said they are committed to each other and have not purchased land in
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family. one pro palin blog says "even offstage, liberals still attack." adds another, quote "the left can't get over sarah palin's derangement syndrome. they can't leave her and her family alone now that she is a private citizen." rahm emanuel reportedly made calls to television networks to pressure them to air the president's july 22 primetime news conference. "the washington post" writes that emanuel made calls to abc, nbc and cbs executives in an effort to persuade them to give up a chunk of their schedule. a cbs official says they feel pressured and that, quote, the news divisions also have mixed feelings about whether they are being used. the head of the network says about taking the news conference instead of regular programming, we lose more than $3 million a show. an nbc executive said he would feel better if white house officials were approaches us
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with the sense that they had something new to say, and kurtz said had it not been about henry gates and professor gates and sergeant crowley, there would have been no news." president george w. bush had six during eight years in office. venezuela president hugo chavez is continuing his socialist agenda by shoving 34 radio stations down across the country. government officials say the stations failed to comply with regulations but critics insist this is a crackdown on free speech. the head of ven sen's council of journalists have denounced the move and one opposition government group says the government has turned into a mutilator of rights." the government says "we have applied the law," adding that "the stations now belong to
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the people." and now more on healthcare. amid the uproar over various parts of the plans being considered, there has been precious little attention paid to a proposal that is already bipartisan and would actually pay for itself. so why isn't it getting any traction in congress? we report, you decide. here is correspondent james rosen. >> it's just not going to happen. >> that's how the senate finance committee chairman summarily dismissed the only healthcare reform proposal boasting bipartisan support and a positive score from the congressional budget office. under the healthy americans act sponsored by ron wyden and 1 30thers, healthcare benefits would no longer be given a tax exemption, but -- >> all americans would get a fixed deduction, credit, that would be available to them for their healthcare, and that credit would be about $18,000.
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now, a family of four spends about $13,000 or $14,000 on their healthcare. >> employers would no longer provide healthcare insurance but would have to shell out where then americans would choose a plan and virtually all americans would be covered, forever. why hasn't the white house and congress pounced on the idea? >> i don't sit on any of the committees that have been considering healthcare up until now, so as far as congress is concerned, structurally, i don't have a voice until it gets to the floor. >> the c.b.o. last year concluded the wyden bennett plan would prove revenue neutral and stiewlly start making money soon thereafter and the c.b.o. director who said so was peter orszag, now president obama's budget director. >> senator ron wyden would tax our benefits at work as if they were income. taxing health benefits, that doesn't make sense. >> to stalwart democrats,
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wyden-bennett is strong medicine. was a me has run ads targeting wyden. >> it's unfortunate that you can have a union arguing this healthcare plan for employees. i like this system, but by the way, the guys across the street are not getting good healthcare for their families, but that's an advantage for me, because i can tell people to come and join the union, because i have an opportunity to offer better healthcare. >> with healthcare stalled in the senate and still contentious in the house, wyden and bennett say they are hearing from lawmakers who want to take a second and third look at their proposal. james rosen, fox news. bret: the postal service is considering closing 1,000 local offices as they are struggling with a $7 billion loss this year despite rate increases an staff cuts. they blame e-mail and on-line
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bill paying. manufacturing is another industry that is hurting and bracing for more. amid the debate over environmental legislation, critics of cap and trade point to californias an example of good intentions and bad results. correspondent william la jeunesse is in los angeles with a cautionary tale. >> this company is half the size it was just 7 months ago. >> after world war ii, manufacturing accounted for one in every three american jobs. today, it's one in ten, and falling. california metals acts is one of the few heavy metal manufacturers in cal foreign quavment >> this manufacturing is not only going to other states in north america, but primarily to asia where they have no pollution control. >> we found that california had lost 25% of its 'em employment in the manufacturing sector. among them, 33% occur in the high-tech sectors. >> according to a new milliken
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institute study, california lost 80,000 jobs in a five-year period. the research blames the loss on the costly environmental and labor regulations and the highest industrial tax rate in the u.s., but some economists argue sacremento simply can't afford to cut taxes right now. >> can our business environment be improved? absolutely. would it be good for the state? be a absolutely. is this the time to be worrying about this? absolutely not. >> what has some analysts concerned are federal government plans to adopt national emissions standards and other regulations and fees similar to california. the concern is that it will lead to huge losses in industrial employment around the country. >> without manufacturing, where is the wealth going to be produced? where will it be produced to hire accounts and attorneys. >> business owners say if politicians want to help save american manufacturing jobs and help u.s. industry compete
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against china and india where environmental and labor laws are virtually nonexistent, then government needs to help, not make things harder but that requires tough choices in the golden state as well as washington. in los angeles, william la jeunesse, fox news. bret: is the president thinking about raising taxes on the middle class despite his promise not to? the fox all-stars analyze and weigh in, next. limb: dude that was sick! i've been hangin' up there for, what, like, forty years? and then - wham - here i am smacking the pretty off that windshield of yours. oh, what you're looking for an apology? well, toss another coin in the wishing well, pal. it's not happenin'. limb: hey, what's up, donnie? how you been? anncr: accidents are bad. anncr:but geico's good ding! with onsite windshield replacement.
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judgments yet about exactly what it is going to take and how we're going to get there. i think what the country needs to do is understand we need to do what it takes, what is necessary. >> are you raising taxes? >> the president is not raising taxes on those that make less than $250,000 a year. bret: they must have reiterated that ten times today at the white house briefing today. robert gibbs there, today, apparently walking back some senior economic advisors' comments over the weekend in what seemed to leave the door open on taxing the middle class. let's bring in the panel. steve hayes, juan williams, and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. so, steve, what was this? was this a conflict between campaigning and governing? was this a trial balloon? what was this? >> probably the easiest explanation is that these guys were out there and didn't want to box the president in by taking things off the table so
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they didn't answer a question. i don't think that they are sitting there right now trying to come up with new tax proposals, but that being said, this is not just a campaign promise he made. remember, on february 24, in the address that he made before congress, he said again "ly not raise your taxes o one single dime and repeated it, one single dime." the problem i think he faces is that he has already done it. technically he has broken his pledge. on april 1st, a tax went into effect that raised cigarette taxes 61 cents a pack. the meadian income of smokeers is $36,000 a year. that is a tax on people making less than $50,000 a year. the white house explained that by saying they meant no income tax hikes or payroll increases. i suspect what we're going to see as they continue to look for ways to find this massive spending orgy that we have seen over the past 7 months is going back to that and specifying not payroll tax
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increases, not income tax increases but leaving a lot of other things on the table. bret: juan. >> i don't think that is raising anybody's taxes. it is raising taxes for people who choose to smoke or consume alcohol. we can go down the line. it is not raising taxes in terms of a family income. i don't think that geithner or summers has the economic options. they have to say that there is a tremendous deficit and we have to deal with it at some point before it becomes a problem, before the economy drags the economy down, spurs inflation, so they are holding on to that. david axle rod, rahm emanuel and president obama all know it is too treacherous to talk about raising taxes because republicans would beat them about the head politically and 2010 would turn out to be a slaughter. bret: we are not talking about the fact that the bush tax cuts eck spire next year and will likely be left to expire. will this administration let them expire? >> if the economy is
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recovering. >> look, if the the president and his team start to parse words in a clin toneian way, and after the president said last yearly not raise your taxes in any form, all of a sudden says i only meant income tax and payroll, that's not going to fly. that's not going to work. look, of the four people who spoke that we saw at the beginning of the segment, two are patrol titions an two are economists. the the economists have have said we have to leave the door open. politicians understand it would be fatal for obama to raise taxes after the mej he the pledge he made. it was an essentially "read my lips." how does he square it? i think by the end of the year he will have a fallback. he won't have obama-care, because you cannot do it in the absence of new massive taxes. what he's going to have is a health insurance reform, which will mean heavy regulation on the companies, so there are no pre-existing conditions, you
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can't lose your insurance. everybody will be happy, except it will bankrupt the insurance companies, so the shortfall will come not out of the taxes but out of coercing the 18 million young people who today have no health insurance because they are young and healthy and calculate correctly that it is unneeded, if you force them into buying health insurance, you have a revenue stream. insurance companies will be happy, so without taxing, coercing the young and coercing insurance companies into giving unlimited insurance, it will work. that's the only way it will work. that's what i think we will end up with in december. bret: juan, this weekend the treasury secretary and larry summers talked a lot about deficits and here is an administration that is, you know, doesn't look like it is dealing with deficits with all the spending that it's doing. >> it seemed a disconnect there. did you see that? >> no, in fact, in all their conversations that i have been
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privy to they do care about deficit. this is not new to me but in the terms of the public, the drive has been towards getting these programs put in place and trying to then mitigate the cost. part of that conversation, you do get conversations about deficits, because if you look at the polls right now, bret, the economy is number one and the deficits are number two. that's the box they are n if you deal with deficits, you might drag down the economy and you can't afford to do it. >> the original stimulus package was a trillion dollars out the window. because of it, obama has lost a lot of leverage having spent that money with almost nothing to show. everybody is skeptical about all the other spending he is going to do and he has key ate add deficit of his own making that will cripple all his other ideas an plans. bret: there are some lawmakers saying just abandon the rest of the stimulus plan. >> that is a good proposal. i can't imagine that they would seriously think about it, but they have spent,
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estimates vary, but roughly 10% of that right now. it has not proven to be stimulative. who knows what will happen, but there are vines that the economy is now -- there are signs that the economy is in eafer ry or on its way to recovery r so what is the point? you could save another $700 billion. you wouldn't have to raise taxes. good idea. >> absolutely no chance! you guys are missing the idea that the money, the stimulus money to be spent down the road has contributed to the confidence that is being on wall street and from consumers. i wish consumeers had more confidence, but look what owe obama-care being in trouble, wall street is factoring in the opposite, the fact that all these big government plans are having serious problems and the stock market has taken off. >> you'll never have a rescinding of the stimulus because it would require obama admitting error and that doesn't happen. bret: there is plenty of
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traffic at many car dealerships over the weekend, but will it last? the fate of cash for clunkers, next. can your body wash nourish this deeply? the moisturizer in other body washes sits on top of skin. only new dove has nutriummoisture... which can nourish deep down. new dove body wash with nutriummoisture. superior natural nourishment for your skin. so metlife removed the guesswork. combining two essential insurances, term life and disability in one surprisingly affordable package. strengthen your safety net and find out how affordable it can be at metlife.com. tylenol doesn't interfere with certain high blood pressure medicines the way aleve metimes can. that's one reason why doctors recommend tylenol more than any other brand of pain reliever.
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>> americans need some assurance that the estimate they're getting is accurate, and if recent experience is any guide, they have reason to be as skeptical as the car dealer who said this to a reporter last week. "if they can't administer a program like this, i'd be a little concerned about my health insurance." >> if it doesn't happen this week, it's unlikely that we'll make it to the weekend with a program that can continue. >> a bit of a threat from the white house saying that senators need to move on the
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cash for clunkers program. it has already passed the house, $2 billion additional dollars because the program, quite frankly, was running out of money. we're back with the panel. charles, what happens with cash for clunkers? >> well, it is very popular. it is an artificial stimulus, drawn from the future into the president. i don't think it will have any effect on the future in the long run other than as a temporary stimulus, but at bottom, it's bizarre economics. we're paying people -- what we're forgetting people is that all of these cars, tens of thousands of clunkers going to be turned into scrap. the question is why? america is going to be destroys tens of thousands of perfectly usable cars, destroying essentially american assets. a parody in economics which is to say you pay half of the economic economics to someone with bribes.
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we are destroying huge numbers of assets. why not put them on tankers, ship them into the third world and get the cash for cars aparts? you are destroying a whole set of assets and replacing them. that's going to be stimulative for a week or two or thee, but in the end, it's lunatic economics. bret: juan, the senators, democratic and republican senators who support this say it's better gas mileage for all these cars and good for the environment. what is the outtake of what you think is going to happen up there? >> well, i think it will take some time. the opposition is among democrats who want higher fuel efficiency standards put in place. they want more demand on auto -- on drivers, consumers, in terms of what they are putting on the road in the future. it's not about the program. the program is a fabulous success. let's count the ways. if you're talking about economic stimulus, my gosh, the car dealers who were down in the first half of the year
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say they had their best month ever last year because of this, and if you're talking about independents from middle east oil, good news there. >> oh, come on. >> it's good news in so many ways. >> juan -- >> republicans can't see the sunshine. bret: it's not just republicans. it is claire mccaskill from missouri. >> she wants to up the fuel standards. >> these are trivial games on fuel efficiency and global warming and middle east dependence. it is immeasurably small. >> if you want to put more money into it, that will stop that argument. >> this is not economic stimulus. this is ought foe si -- this is auto industry stimulus f you are the son or daughter of a car dealer, you're thrilled. it is just shifting the spending. the details of the program, too, are, i would say, the perfect example for republicans to seize on and to warn about the problems of big government programs t was supposed to start july 1.
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it couldn't, because it wasn't ready. the administrative costs were $50 million to make this thing happen. when it started on july 24, within two days, the computers crashed. dealers were not able to register the transactions that they had dement in, and they were facing $15,000 fines essentially. the e.p.a., in the middle of the week decided to change which cars were eligible for the cash for clunkers program right in the middle of the week! >> you talk about the administration and how government can be slow. that's fine, but you're not talking about the value of this program to middle income consumers, to a key part of the american economy, the auto industry, which has lots of subsidiaries, that contributes to making cars. i think it's good news and yet, you guys are like, oh, no, anything obama, we will put down. >> it defies all laws of economics t isn't as if the cash has arrived by stork.
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this cash is coming from other people who pay taxes. it's real cash. so what you are doing is taking the money out of the pockets of some workers and putting it in the hands of others. it is a transfer of money. >> it is known as a stimulus. that's the whole idea, charles. >> you keep it on the road out of recession. bret: i want to wrap this up. >> you can call it a banana, it won't make any difference. bret: what about the administration taking that and saying wait a second, if the cash for clunkers doesn't work, how does 1/6 of the economy get handled by healthcare by public option? >> i agree. steve makes the right point. if you say these guys didn't understand how popular this program was going to be, and therefore managed it badly, and after their mised predictions, exactly right. i don't have any problem with, that but the program is good. >> i'm get it even if it were well administered. it is a lunatic idea. >> it is a banana. >> it is a banana, therefore
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it is going to work. bret: that's it for the panel. stay tuned for what could be another messaging problem for president obama. .
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>> finally tonight, we showed you earlier town hall meetings and while there are questions and comments from all sides, pro and con. many people were seen in these videos expressing deep concerns about impending health care reform legislation. judging by the reception president obama is getting to his recent sales jobs efforts could be a long august for the administration. >> first of all, nobody is talking about some government take over of health care. >> nobody is talking about reducing medicare benefits. >> nobody is talking about you forcing to have to change your plans. >> this money is not being wasted. >> just tell your mom nobody's messing with her doctor. >> you know a sales pitch is in trouble when you say look, you have got to trust me.
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we are not going to kill your grandparents. >> that's it for "special report" this time. the only place you will get the wholeto